Jellycat

we live in a pretty spacious apartment here in switzerland – we’re lucky enough to have a large guest room and separate guest bathroom, so that friends and family who visit us can enjoy some privacy during their stay (and us, too, of course). it might not be a must in ever house hold, but if you live 700km away from your closest circle, it’s not a luxury. so when i got pregnant with eloise, we started imagining different scenarios as to where she would sleep. obviously she’d stay in our room for the first few weeks or months – as long as wakes up in the middle of the night to be fed. but when she starts sleeping through the night, what’s next?

we deliberated putting her crib in the guest bedroom, but even though i like the room, it’s nowhere near as cozy and warm and welcoming for a baby as juliet’s room or ours. then we considered putting juliet in the guest bedroom, but it just feels so sad to move her from the room she loves so much, only to share one with a giant bed and two huge cupboards filled with our office supplies, paper work, sports clothes, suitcases and whatnot. getting rid of that stuff is not an option, and we really don’t have anywhere else to put it all. getting rid of the king size guest bed is not an attractive thought either, since we love having our friends and family over and would hate to put them in the living room on some air mattress.

and honestly, i have always loved the idea of having the two girls share a room. i’m probably romanticizing the entire idea – imagining them getting in to each other’s beds to share secrets and plot against #teamparents, going to sleep singing each other songs or throwing their favorite stuffed animals around… i suppose i am hoping it will strengthen their bond and force them into a kind of camaraderie. i know, i know, i’m aware you can’t force that kind of stuff – but one can hope, right? anyway, long story short, we have set up eloise’s beautiful WOOD MINI+ crib from OLIVER FURNITURE in juliet’s room, and we’re hoping to start calling it the girls’ room soon.

first, let me tell you about this crib, because it is all sorts of amazing. firstly, obviously, i think it’s crazy beautiful. it has a typical scandinavian design – classic, iconic, stylish and understated. but secondly and more importantly, it is the mother of all convertible beds. when you buy the bed, the package includes everything you need for five different settings. right now our crib is set up for the first stage, with the mattress fairly high so it’s easy to reach for eloise, which is still safe since she’s not able to sit up yet. you can then lower the mattress until it’s way down, for when baby starts to sit and stand up. three bars at one side of the bed can be removed for when your kid starts climbing out of bed and you’d like them to be around for a little while longer so you can give them a safer way out. then the bed converts to a small and cozy toddler bed with a rail to keep them from falling out, and finally you can extend the bed for when they grow. if you’d like to find out more about this bed, you can check out the website of OLIVER FURNITURE, or you could swing by HET LAND VAN OOIT, where i found it, and where it’s set up in their BEAUTIFUL SHOWROOM.

but the best part is this – you can get an extra set to transform the bed into a low loft bed – which is a lot lower (thus safer and less scary for littles) than a high sleeper, but still offers the cool playroom underneath. words can’t describe how much i love this feature, and honestly i can’t wait to transform the bed to this setting in a few years. we figure we might let eloise sleep in the crib/toddler bed until juliet is old enough for the low loft set-up, and then switch eloise to juliet’s old bed and juliet to the loft bed. that way they get to enjoy the playroom much earlier together – one more way for them to band up and plot world domination.

for now, i am trying to prepare juliet for the moment when eloise joins her in her room by matching their beds. she is over the moon whenever i put on the duvet cover that matches her sister’s bed bumper, and she often steals eloise’s cuddles or replaces them with her own when she feels like a change. she frequently asks when eloise will start sleeping next to her, and seems excited about the prospect of not being alone at night. but tell me – am i setting myself up for disaster here? do you have any golden tips that might help us with the transition? what were your experiences if your kids share a room? help a mama out here!

P.S. funny story about eloise’s crib – when it arrived during my pregnancy, we were going through a tough phase with juliet where she only wanted to sleep on a mattress in our bedroom. separation anxiety and all that. but when the crib arrived and we set it up in her room, she seemed super curious and excited, so we set up the crib with the mattress lowered all the way down and without the three bars on the side. juliet loved it and wanted to sleep in it – so that’s actually how we got her to return to her own room! you can see some of the story’s highlights on my INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT RIGHT HERE. it was quite the saga. i eventually convinced her to go back to her own bed when i used some of the things i had originally bought for eloise’s crib on juliet’s bed. that’s how she got the bed bumper and new duvet covers. when she saw how pretty and cozy it all was, she was more than happy to reclaim her own bed and she’s been sleeping soundly in it ever since. can i get a high five? also, she’s clearly my daughter, caring about decoration so much.

photos by stephanie duval • thanks to the brands and shops that allow me to experiment, discover and only share what i genuinely love with you • most of what you see can be found at my all time favorite children’s shop HET LAND VAN OOIT • wood mini+ crib from OLIVER FURNITURE • crib bumper from GARBO & FRIENDS • house cushion from CAMOMILE LONDON • pink polka dot cushion and duvet cover from LIEWOOD • pear soft toys from MIKANU • brown bunny and peach octopus from JELLYCAT • juliet’s outfit from BONTON • star hair clip and rainbow purse from MIMI & LULA • musical mobile from POUCE ET LINA • gold speckled sleeping bag from LES REVES D’ANAIS • custom name pacifier from MIJNFOPSPEEN.BE • cushion and duvet cover in green fauna print from GARBO & FRIENDS • pink bed bumper from KONGES SLOJD • pink canopy from NUMERO74 • washable rug from LORENA CANALS • tassel basket from LORENA CANALS • pink dress on hanger from MINIMALISMA • flower tunic on hanger via FLORENCE AND THE BOYS • long-sleeved pink dress on hanger from LITTLE FOREST • woodland print duvet cover from GARBO & FRIENDS • mustard blanket from PETIT STELLOU • mêlée mustard knit blanket from HVID

last month i took you on A LITTLE TOUR of my favorite belgian children’s store het land van ooit, which also happens to be the place where i put together a gift registry for the new addition to our family. if you’re belgian, you’re familiar with the concept – you put together a list of gift ideas so that family and friends who’d like to offer you something to celebrate the birth of your baby know exactly what you’d be most happy with. apparently it’s not something that is usual in many countries, though from my experience it seems that our neighbors in france and switzerland are catching up. i know it’s the thought that counts and everything, but who can say in all honesty they like every single gift they’ve ever gotten that wasn’t picked from a list? i mean, how many pastel-colored-name-embroidered towels does a person need in their life? (none, if you ask me).

so many belgian children’s stores offer the service of putting together a gift registry when you’re expecting, and what shop is the perfect fit for you really depends on what you like and need. for me, the choice for HET LAND VAN OOIT was easily made. even more so than three years ago when juliet was born, the shop carries most of my favorite belgian and international brands. their selection is huge, and i love that it covers every single aspect of new parenthood – from dressing to feeding to bathing to transporting your babe. they also have the biggest offer in furniture and decoration – and that’s what sealed the deal for me. as you may know if you’ve followed my journey for the past few years, there are very few things i find as important as making our apartment look beautiful and feel like a true home for everyone involved. even though our rooms are decidedly fuller than three years ago and we already have many baby essentials lying around, i thought it was important to add some new things that make life as a family of four easier, and that will make our baby feel welcome and loved right from the start.

so a few weeks ago i sat down with karolien van turnhout to create the gift registry for our baby girl. she is one of the four kids of rita sels, who founded het land van ooit over 20 years ago. the five now work together in running the family business – karolien and her mom are usually off to the international fairs to buy the new clothes’ collections, for example. but around 19 years ago, she started out by helping clients put together the best possible gift lists before the arrival of their newborns. and from any interaction i’ve had with anyone at het land van ooit, it becomes so obvious just how much experience they have in that department. there literally is no question they haven’t heard before, no type of parent they haven’t helped out yet. i admit i’m not the easiest breed of consumer – my priority is definitely on creating a ‘big picture’ in which every little detail fits together perfectly. and yes, sometimes i tend to overlook the practicalities of real life in the process. but i’ve always felt like the people at het land van ooit respect my wishes and peculiarities with endless patience, while gently sharing their knowhow and experiences whenever appropriate. i’m very grateful for the way in which they have managed to simultaneously help me scout the perfect items for my ‘ideal vision’ and given me expert advice on some of the less sexy but hugely practical aspects.

but enough about how much i love the people there – let’s talk stuff! obviously i haven’t been able to resist scooping up some goodies already in order to prepare for baby’s arrival. you may have already seen THIS gorgeous garbo&friends bedding, and i already showed off our beautiful new OLIVER FURNITURE crib on instagram. i also couldn’t resist buying baby’s first outfit for the hospital (THIS and THIS from my favorite MARMAR) and some super cute cuddles. but there is plenty more good stuff on my list – and i have gathered some of my absolute favorites in the little collage above. from left to right, from the top down • 1+ more in the family CARDIGAN and T-SHIRT • cam cam BIB • beaba BATH THERMOMETER (how cute is this floral design?!) • liewood PLACEMAT and BATH TOWEL • mini a ture PANTS and TOP • cam cam BATH TOWEL.

i’m curious to know about your experiences with gift registries. have you had one before? what was the ultimate thing on there? any recommendations – stuff that people tend to overlook or something you truly loved? and if you are on the giving end of the equation – do you like gift registries or do you prefer picking something out yourself? what’s your favorite thing to gift parents of a newborn?

video and photography by stephanie duval • post in collaboration with HET LAND VAN OOIT

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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.

 

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